This study uses a synthesis of framing theory and discourse analysis in order to explain the emergence and the relative success of ATTAC Norway. The approach has two general aims, a theoretical and an empirical. The theoretical aim is to introduce discourse analysis as the structural theory missing in the framing perspective of contemporary social movement theory, and the empirical aim is to present a plausible understanding of the emergence and initial success of ATTAC in Norway.
The study has three main theoretical conclusions. First, there is an absence of a structural level of analysis in contemporary framing theory, which makes their explanations too voluntaristic. Second, when studying collective action framing, such a structural element is crucial to fully understand the construction, perception and effect of framing efforts. Third, when doing empirical research we can use cognitive cues, representations and stories as the link or mediator between strategic framing and discourses. The search for these will assist our understanding of the relation between framing theory and discourse analysis.
Empirically, the absence of "real" changes in political opportunity and mobilising structure of a scale necessary to understand the sudden success of ATTAC in Norway, makes a social constructivist analysis relevant. Based on this theoretical position, the study lists four main reasons for the success. First, the organisation had well-developed collective action framing, or a well-developed sets of beliefs triggering collective action. Second, these collective action frames were embedded in popular and new discourses of globalisation and new social movements. The association with these discourses gave the organisation the crucial values of novelty and truth, the latter because the discourses have their origin in the field of science. Third, representing the globalisation and new social movements discourses made mobilisation easier because these discourses had not yet been institutionalised in formal organisations. Finally, the great demonstrations, for example in Seattle, gave ATTAC Norway access to the media. The extensive media coverage provided the organisation with an opportunity to reach potential supporters with their message.